Is Pentax for sale?

In the previous interview (two months ago), Hoya's CEO Hiroshi Suzuki said:

“I’m afraid it will need some sort of alliance with another company in the long term.”

Yesterday, in an interview with nikkeibp Mr. Suzuki said:

"It’s unnecessary to keep Pentax camera division in the HOYA Corporation. It may be sold to other company or become a independent company itself".

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  • Anonymous

    I was wondering when one company might start seriously to struggle. With Sony pushing itself into the market, I think it is likely that one might terminate their business.

  • Anonymous

    I speculate that the most likely buyer is Samsung. If Samsung buys Pentax, they can truly take one Sony.

    As of now, Samsung’s camera business is really negligible and Pentax, while having a good market presence, is lacking the electronic technology and R&D dollars to compete with the likes of Panasonic, Canon and Sony.

    • Sky

      Panasonic in current situation isn’t a good player in DSLR market. They are total margin of market (like… 1% of share) and already invested A LOT in 4/3 system. I don’t see why they would want to throw all they did till now into trash and buy Pentax, turn entirely to Pentax-K mount and stay this way…

      • Anonymous

        Panasonic is in an unusually good position for the upcoming merging of video and still cameras, as all their recent products show. They are WAY ahead of everyone else with their contast-detect AF system, they can easily implement autofocus in video mode. Only Sony has a decent alternative to contrast-detect AF, but they’ve yet to release a video-DSLR

  • Catastrophile

    they may prefer to sell it to a japanese instead of samsung. could be panasonic for example. it may also become an independent company and then who knows what will happen, i hope not the way of the dodo!

  • Rokkor on!

    This could be great news for Pentax owners if the right buyer is found.

    As a consumer, I’d hate to see them go down even though I’ve never bought a Pentax.

    I know when I finally bought a DSLR last year, I liked some of their cameras and the Pentax committment to the K mount, but was afraid the company wouldn’t last much longer.

    No matter how many millions of K mount lenses exist, I didn’t like the idea of being stuck with an orphan camera.

    Buit if a company with money and marketing know-how, such as Samsung or Panasonic, took over, then they might just have a shot.

    I think it would be good for consumers to have more than two or three strong players again.

  • Tomas

    How would this affect Tokina? They have some really great lenses based on Pentax design and I really prefer them to any other 3rd party.

    • dyna

      Sadly, your thinking here is backwards: Tokina has been designing or building lenses for Pentax. And before Tokina,it was Tamron. Which isn’t unsual: Tokina and Tamron build a lot of lenses for a lot of major manufacturers. Over 70% of Tamron’s production gets someone else’s name put on the front of it. So it’s nothing to worry about. Tokina will go on with or without Pentax. They were fine before, they will be fine after. Always the #3 trying harder.

  • Din

    For me is difficult to think Panasonic buy Pentax, is more probably to see Samsung does it…

  • bubuy

    Sony will buy Pentax. next month.

    • Anonymous

      really?

      • dyna

        No way.

  • Anonymous

    Quite unlikely it’ll be Sony and Panasonic as they have their own set of mounts to maintain (A-mount and m4/3).

    Most probable buyer should be Samsung which their DSLRs are also on K-mount, which makes the most sense to take over completely.

    • Sky

      Yep…. you are right about it.

  • Catastrophile

    if they just put it on ebay, i would buy it in a heartbeat

  • bubuy

    oh yeah. just like when sony bought konica-minolta. sorry.

    • dyna

      Sony and K/M already had a long standing partnership and the buyout was seen as mutually beneficial. Besides, Sony only bought the optical division. The rest of Konica-Minolta is still going…

  • http://kokorolibrary.net Kokoro

    I predict two outcomes:
    Ricoh
    Samsung

    place ur bets, win the fight; winners get smug feeling of being right.

  • NikoDoby

    What if Samsung only buys the Kmount? The Pentax name might just fade away :(

    • dyna

      It is already. None of the kids growing up today owned a Pentax in school. Back in the 70′s and 80′s a bunch of cats had the Pentax K1000 or ME series cameras or, if they were lucky, one of the ZX-5n or PZ-1p bodies…. today Pentax has had so little presence that the purchasing youth has no familiarity with the brand and, sadly, it is brand familiarity that sells right now. Trust me: at the counter, with way, way too many consumers, it doesn’t matter who has the better camera for them, based on the needs described to the sales associate… no. What matters is who their friend or family member TOLD THEM TO BUY or whatever they saw on dpreview or Amazon or, god forbid but it happens, Ashton Kutcher had.

      It’s true. It’s not a majority but it’s damn near the mean. And it’s scary. Means a lot of people aren’t looking at the K7 or the A850 or the E30 when these cameras can clearly stand out from their major competitors for a number of reasons. Means Canon and Nikon don’t have to work as hard: their years of whipsawing public opinion like to old-horse politicians have paid off. And will for sometime yet.

      • Sky

        And still Sony raised 2-3 times faster than Canon and Nikon…

  • GlobalGuy

    I thought this immediately as well — the weight of SONY is starting to show. While Pentax wasn’t perfect, it was just barely squeezing in.

    SONY took ALL of that away. Anyone looking for an alternative to Nikon or Canon is now looking directly at SONY. And for good reasons, if you ask me. They do stuff right.

  • Just a Thought

    My main bet is on Sigma buying Pentax (if its really for sale).
    An out of the money side bet is Tokina buying Pentax if Sigma does not want it.

    Pentax is very well run, as is Hoya. Why they would sell Pentax seems strange.

    Samsung has technology cross-license with Pentax, so they have no need to buy Pentax. . Samsung brand is now better known around consumers than Pentax, so little to no benefit to Samsung with such a move.

    Samsung is flush with cash. Buying Pentax would be no big deal for Samsung. I suspect that if Samsung is fishing to buy something, I doubt it would be a minnow like Pentax. Samsung is making billions in profits while its Japanese competitors are bleeding with no end in sight and recently the Yen started to rise creating even more problems for Japanese firms. Samsung is becoming a major threat to Japanese dominance in consumer markets that they play in. Sony and Panasonic must be more than a tad concerned. Wonder if Samsung would consider buying Panasonic. That would send shock waves thru Japan.

    • dyna

      Panasonic could swallow Samsung. Matsushita is HUGE with over 1200 subsidiary companies. Panasonic ain’t afraid of no Samsung ghost!

      • Just a Thought

        Sony and Panasonic are swimming in a sea of red ink – as are most Japanese firms including the Camera makers.
        Not so with Samsunug – it’s rolling in cash as profits grow – yes profits.
        Samsung is growing into Korea’s version of Sony. With growing profits,

        I expect more R&D funds to go to new Digital camera designs – P&S first as it is very profitable and also to DSLRs. In a few years Samsung could (probably will) grab major market share from DLSR makers in Japan. The big end round with camera makers, will be between Sony and Samsung. Panasonic will be out of the still camera game as will most present day camera makers. Canon has a good chance to survive, but not others.

        The following might be of interest:
        http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=akG4VtPnsD4E

        “Sony Corp., Japan’s biggest exporter of televisions, said the yen may strengthen, threatening to push Japanese electronics makers further behind South Korean competitors such as Samsung Electronics Co.”

        “For Japanese companies, “it’s like a death warrant as things stand now and if this continues, they will have a very difficult time,””

        “Sony may post an operating loss of 40.5 billion yen in the quarter ended Sept. 30, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of four analysts, while Osaka-based Panasonic may report profit tumbled 96 percent. All of Japan’s five biggest TV makers, including Sharp Corp. and Toshiba Corp., posted losses in the quarter ended June 30. ”

        or this article:
        http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=adwRkSD206Rw

        ” Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) — Samsung Electronics Co., Asia’s biggest maker of chips, flat screens and mobile phones, reported third-quarter earnings more than doubled, exceeding analysts’ estimates, helped by a rebound in prices.

        Operating profit jumped to as high as 4.3 trillion won ($3.7 billion), compared with 1.48 trillion won a year earlier,”

    • Sky

      “Why they would sell Pentax seems strange.” – because it’s income-less company without big perspective to improve it’s position on market and total lack of advert strategy???

      “Samsung brand is now better known around consumers than Pentax” – I don’t think so. Before I bought DSLR I had no idea that Samsung produces DSLRs, and even months after I didn’t know that – I never, ever seen any Samsung DSLR in shop. While Pentax was quite well known to me and Pentax cameras are avaible almost everywhere.

      • Just a Thought

        Go into the average middle to upper income living room in North Ameraica or Europe or Asia and you are very likely to see the Samsung name on a flat panel TV or DVD player for example. Samsung outsells Pentax in P&S. You are correct in that you knew about Pentax and had not heard about about Samsung when buying a DSLR. As their DLSR distribution network grows that will change. Go back a few years and few people had heard of a Samsuung TV – Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sanyo among other were the houisehold names.

  • RichT

    Samsung makes by far the best sense since it already has made DSLR cameras using Pentax’s K-mount and as far as I know is Pentax is their only customer for their higher end APS-C chip. Samsung was supposed to come out with their NX series which is supposed to compete with micro 4/3 but can’t seem to get it off the ground. It’s like they want to build cameras but don’t quite know how. Enter Pentax

  • Just a Thought

    Post did not post? Retrying.
    Seems that both Panasonic and Samsung have put DSLR expansion plans on hold :

    http://www.whatdigitalcamera.com/news/396215/samsung-nx-puts-dslr-development-on-hold.html

    • http://photorumors.com PR admin

      the spam filter “spammed” it
      I also got all of your email – thanks! I just cannot publish everything, I am trying to stay more “rumors” concentrated, but the Samsung stuff you sent me will be coming out soon.

  • http://roman.blakout.net Roman

    Have anyone thought of Leica?!

    • James

      No, but that’s an interesting idea. It would allow Leica to enter the low-end to midrange camera market with a well regarded brand name without damaging the sales of their existing products. One potential problem: They would have to ramp up Pentax sales to make it self-sustaining, and Leica doesn’t have much experience in anything but low-volume sales.

  • Catastrophile

    is sumsong on to somesing? FF mirrorless??

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